Royal Bath and West Show celebrates its 150th anniversary

First published in Shows

The Royal Bath and West Show will be celebrating its 150th anniversary this year with what promises to be an extra special event.

One of the oldest surviving agricultural shows in England, the Bath and West began life as a travelling show, only settling at its current location near Shepton Mallet in 1965.

A lot has changed in farming since Victorian times, but the show remains true to its roots of supporting agriculture and educating the public through a four-day extravaganza of everything rural.

Dr Jane Guise, chief executive of the Royal Bath & West Society, said: “Early shows were all about demonstrating new technology to farmers - now it's about showcasing farming to consumers.

“Visitors come to the show because they want to see the livestock, learn a bit more about rural life and enjoy the vast array of entertainment on offer.”

This year, every section of the show will be celebrating the anniversary with special displays and competitions, including 150 years of fairgrounds, the National Horseshoeing Championships and plenty of locally produced food and drink all within the 242-acre site.

But it is the livestock that are consistently the most popular attraction among visitors and this year promises to be no exception.

The striking Red Ruby Devon cattle breed will be holding their National Show, attracting top-class exhibitors from across the nation, and the prestigious Burke Trophy, formerly the highlight of the Royal Show, will be presented to the best pair of beef animals, judged by the respected Daniel Wyllie from Staffordshire.

Another former Royal Show accolade, the Flack Trophy, will be awarded to the champion pair of pigs by longstanding judge Graham Hinks from Dorset, who plans to bow out at the pinnacle of his career.

Competition schedules for the show, which will be held from May 29 to June 1, will be available from mid-February, with early bird saver tickets available online now at www.bathandwest.com or by calling 0844 7765777.

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